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Motor Carrier Audit

Contacts

pic of auditor checking records


The Audit Section of the Motor Carrier Transportation Division is responsible for checking that all trucking companies operating in Oregon are in compliance with weight-mile tax reporting and Oregon registration requirements. Auditors also check that Oregon-based carriers are in compliance with International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) requirements related to their operations in other states and provinces.

Audit Section Manager - Gayle Green
3930 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem OR 97302-1166
Phone: 503-378-6656


Audit Offices


Eastern Oregon
1801 SW Hwy 730 E, PO Box 250, Umatilla OR 97882
Jenny Galvin, Manager   |   Dan Weber, Senior Auditor
Phone:541-922-6268     Fax: 541-922-4340

Portland
800 NE Oregon St., Suite 530, Portland OR 97232-2109
Jenny Galvin, Manager   |   Maggie Muldrew, Senior Auditor
Phone: 971-673-1511     Fax: 971-673-1525 
 
Salem
3501 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Suite 140, Salem OR 97302-1155
Sven Johnson, Manager   |   Rosemary Barnes, Senior Auditor
Phone: 503-378-6007      Fax: 503-378-3012

Springfield
640 A Street, Springfield OR 97477-4609
Sven Johnson, Manager   |   Scott Lundquist, Senior Auditor
Phone: 541-736-2308      Fax: 541-736-2319

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Authority to Audit

 
Weight-Mile Tax
Audits are conducted by geographic area with each area generally being reviewed every three years. Audit periods vary but usually encompass the previous three years’ of tax filings. However, if there is no tax report filed for a reporting period, there is no statute of limitations. If the department is not satisfied with the tax report as filed or no tax report is filed, it may make a proposed assessment of additional taxes or fees due, and shall give the motor carrier written notice of such additional assessment. The department will also refund the amount of any overpayment to a motor carrier caused by an incorrect report.

If it is determined that additional taxes or fees are due, there are also additional late payment, penalty, and interest charges.

• Late Payment Charge:  An additional 10% of the taxes or fees due.
• Penalty Charge:
1. If the additional assessment exceeds by at least 5% but not more than 15% of the taxes or fees due, a penalty of five percent will be added.
2. If the additional assessment exceeds by more than 15% of the taxes or fees due, a penalty of 20 percent will be added.
3. If the tax report is not filed, a penalty of 25% of the taxes or fees due will be added.
• Interest Charge: Every additional assessment shall bear interest at the rate of one percent per month, or fraction of a month, until paid.

An audit assessment becomes due and payable when it becomes final. (If an audit assessment is included in a bankruptcy, the assessment is only payable as permitted by bankruptcy law.) If the audit assessment is not paid when due, an additional penalty in the amount of 10% of the tax assessment is added.

Oregon Revised Statute 825.496


International Registration Plan (IRP)
The Motor Carrier Audit Section is responsible for checking that Oregon-based carriers are in compliance with International Registration Plan (IRP) requirements related to their operations in other states and provinces. Through the IRP, motor carriers (registrants) can register through their base jurisdiction for all the states and provinces in which they operate. Oregon currently helps more than 4,000 of its carriers by collecting registration fees, which are based on the total distance traveled, and distributing the fees to the other jurisdictions.  The motor carrier deals only with the base jurisdiction.

The IRP requires an average of three percent of the base jurisdictions’ registrants be audited each year. The base jurisdiction may audit more than three percent if it is deemed appropriate. Audits may cover the current registration year plus three previous registration years.


International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
The Motor Carrier Audit Section is also responsible for checking that Oregon-based carriers are in compliance with International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) requirements related to their operations in other states and provinces. More than 4,000 Oregon carriers are currently licensed to operate in other states and provinces on fuel tax licenses. Through IFTA, they pay Oregon for all the fuel taxes owed to those jurisdictions and Oregon then distributes the taxes on their behalf. Auditors check that carriers accurately report the miles traveled and fuel purchased in all jurisdictions in order to verify or reconcile the fuel taxes owed for those operations. Oregon does not collect a fuel tax on heavy vehicles; it assesses a weight-mile tax for trucks operating over 26,000 pounds. Thus, Oregon participates in IFTA as a service to Oregon-based carriers operating outside the state.

The IFTA requires an average of three percent of the base jurisdictions’ licensees be audited each year. The base jurisdiction may audit more than three percent if it is deemed appropriate. Additionally, at least 25% of the base jurisdiction’s high mileage licensees and at least 15% of the base jurisdiction’s low mileage licensees must be audited each year.

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Oregon Revised Statutes 825.490, 825.494, 825.496
Oregon Administrative Rules 740-200-0010, 740-200-0040
IFTA Web site
IRP Web site

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Weight-Mile Tax Recordkeeping


Weight-Mile Tax
All motor carriers must maintain records of their motor vehicle operations for a period of three years and must produce these records for inspection upon request of the department. The department must give the motor carrier a reasonable time and place to produce the requested records. The department shall be reimbursed by the motor carrier if department representatives travel outside the State of Oregon to examine operational records.

All carriers must maintain records containing the following information for each vehicle:

• Origin and destination points
• Oregon entry and exit points
• Actual Oregon miles for each trip
• Pickup and delivery points in Oregon for each trip
• Routes for travel for each trip
• Dates of each trip
• Daily beginning and ending odometer or other mileage recording device readings for each vehicle
• Load tickets and/or bills of lading for each shipment transported
• Identification of any exempt miles claimed, which shall include beginning and ending odometer or other mileage recording device readings for the exempt portion of each trip. If repeated trips are made to and from the same locations, a one-time recording of odometer or other mileage recording device readings for the exempt portion of those trips may be applied to the total number of trips.

• Carriers operating motor vehicles that are issued or required to obtain an annual variance permit under ORS 818.200(1)(a) to (c) with a combined weight of more than 80,000 pounds shall also provide for each reporting period the number of axles in the vehicle configuration, and a record of changes of operation. A change of operation occurs when the vehicle configuration remains the same but the actual weight of the vehicle and load changes from over 80,000 lbs. to 80,000 lbs. or under. Empty movements are not changes in operation.

• Carriers operating motor vehicles in multiple configurations shall provide the number of miles operated in each motor vehicle configuration for each trip.

All registrants that pay registration fees via registration trip permits must retain a copy of each registration trip permit.

Records generated from on-board recording devices, vehicle tracking systems, or other electronic data recording systems may be used in lieu of, or in addition to, the records required in this rule provided that the electronic records meet all the requirements of sections (1) through (3) of OAR 740-055-0120, and are provided in printed format upon request.

If operating under the International Registration Plan (IRP) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), carriers must maintain all records pertaining to such operations as required by IRP and IFTA.  See IRP and IFTA record keeping requirements below.

Oregon Administrative Rules 740-055-0100, 740-055-0120
Oregon Revised Statutes 823.025

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Fuel Purchase Records, Refunds


The Motor Carrier Transportation Division advises all motor carriers to carefully follow Oregon Administrative Rule 740-055-0110 regarding recordkeeping requirements related to fuel purchases. Only carriers who follow the rule are eligible for fuel tax refunds.

OAR 740-055-0110
Fuel Purchase Records and Refunds


(1) All motor carriers must obtain an invoice covering every purchase of motor vehicle fuel and preserve the same for a period of three (3) years subject to inspection by the Department or its representatives at all reasonable times.

(2) Such invoice must disclose:
(a) Date and location of purchase;
(b) From whom purchased;
(c) Kind of fuel and number of gallons purchased;
(d) Oregon Weight Receipt and Tax Identifier number or temporary pass number of the vehicle if fuel is delivered directly into such vehicle; and
(e) Amount of fuel tax paid.

(3) Motor carriers purchasing fuel in Oregon may claim a credit for Oregon state fuel tax paid at the pump. Carriers shall deduct the amount of fuel tax paid from the highway use tax due on the highway use tax report for the period in which the fuel was purchased. Motor carriers taking a deduction on the highway use tax report for fuel tax paid shall attach a copy of all fuel invoices for which credit is claimed. Carriers who purchase fuel in bulk shall attach to the highway use tax report for the period in which the fuel was dispensed into a motor vehicle copies of invoices from fuel suppliers indicating Oregon state fuel tax paid and fueling records showing fuel dispensed for each motor vehicle.

(4) Motor carriers may submit a written request for refund of Oregon state fuel tax paid up to three years after purchase. A written request for refund may be granted for any Oregon fuel tax paid but not deducted from the highway use tax report for the period in which the fuel was purchased. Motor carriers requesting refund must attach copies of all invoices. No such refund will be issued until an audit has been performed.

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IRP & IFTA Recordkeeping


International Registration Plan (IRP)
Registrants are required to preserve the records upon which the apportioned registration application is based for a period of three years after the close of the registration year, and those records shall be made available for audit during normal business hours upon request. The registrant must record all movement of apportioned vehicles including loaded, empty, deadhead and/or bobtail distance. The registrant must also record all distance traveled by apportioned vehicles under trip permit.

Records are required to contain:
• Beginning and ending dates of the trip 
• Origin and destination of the trip
• Route of travel
• Beginning and ending reading from the odometer, hubodometer, engine control module (ECM), or any similar device for the trip
• Total distance of the tirp
• Distance traveled in each Jurisdiction
• Vehicle identification number or Vehicle unit number

If reocrds are produced wholly or partly by a vehicle-tracking system including a system based on a global position system (GPS):
• Original GPS or other location data for the Vehicle
• Date and time of each GPS or other system reading
• Location of each GPS or other sytem reading
• Beginning and ending reading from the odometer, hubodometer, engine control module (ECM), or any similar device for the period
• Calculated distance between each GPS or other system reading
• Route of the Vehicle's travel
• Total distance traveled by the Vehicle
• Distance traveled in each jurisdiction
• Vehicle identification number or Vehicle unit number

If operating vehicles subject to weight-mile tax and/or the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), carriers must maintain all records pertaining to such operations as required by OAR 740-055-0120 and IFTA. See record keeping requirements listed for each elsewhere on this Web page.

Oregon Administrative Rule 740-200-0010
International Registration Plan 



International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
Every carrier with an IFTA license is required to maintain records that substantiate what is reported on their IFTA Quarterly or Annual Tax Return. Carriers must keep operational records for a period of four years from the due date of each return or the filing date, whichever is later. The required records include Distance Records, Fuel Records, and Bulk Fuel Records (if applicable), and must be recapped in monthly summaries. The following must be presented to Oregon Department of Transportation auditors upon request:

DISTANCE RECORDS
• Date of trip (starting and ending)
• Trip origin and destination
• Route of travel
• Beginning and ending odometer or hubodometer reading of the trip
• Total trip miles
• Intermediate trip stops
• Miles by jurisdiction
• Unit number or vehicle identification number
• Vehicle fleet number
• Registrant’s name

FUEL RECORDS
• Purchaser’s name
• Seller’s name and address
• Date of purchase
• Fuel type
• Price per gallon
• Unit number
• Number of gallons received
• Separate totals must be compiled for each fuel type, and retail fuel purchased must be accounted for separately from bulk fuel purchases

BULK FUEL RECORDS (if applicable)
• Date of withdrawal
• Number of gallons
• Fuel type
• Unit number
• Purchase and inventory records to substantiate that tax was paid

Bulk fuel inventory reconciliations must be maintained, and records must distinguish fuel placed in qualified vehicles from other uses.

Failure to maintain the above records may result in disallowance of tax-paid credits claimed on the IFTA tax returns, assessing fleet miles per gallon to 4.0 mpg, or both. Receipts that have been altered or indicate erasures are not accepted for tax-paid credits unless the licensee can demonstrate that the receipt is valid.

If operating vehicles subject to weight-mile tax and/or the International Registration Plan (IRP), carriers must maintain all records pertaining to such operations as required by OAR 740-055-0120 and IRP. See record keeping requirements listed for each elsewhere on this Web page.

Oregon Administrative Rule 740-200-0040
IFTA Web site

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Audit Appeal Rights


Petition for Reassessment
A motor carrier may petition for a hearing and reassessment if it disagrees with a Highway Use Tax, International Fuel Tax Agreement, or International Registration Plan audit assessment. A petition is a written request that asks for a reassessment and/or a hearing, and specifically states the reasons why the assessment should be changed. The petition must be received by ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 3930 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, Oregon 97302-1166 on or before the date the audit becomes final as shown on the Notice of Highway Use Tax Assessment, the International Fuel Tax Agreement Notice of Audit Assessment, or the International Registration Plan Notice of Audit Assessment, whichever applies. Requests may also be faxed to 503-373-1940.

Failure to file a petition for reassessment by the final date of the audit will result in forfeiture of the right to appeal the assessment. When a petition for reassessment is filed within the 30-day period, staff will review the petition and reconsider the assessment. An attempt will be made to resolve the matter without a hearing.

In the event an agreement is not reached, a hearing may be held. The motor carrier will be given at least 10 days notice of the time and place for the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge.


Request for Waiver or Reduction of Late Payment, Penalty, and/or Interest Charges
A motor carrier may request a waiver or reduction of one or all of the following:  late payment, penalty, or interest charges. The request must be in writing and must specifically state the reasons a waiver or reduction is justified. A request for waiver or reduction is appropriate if the motor carrier agrees with the tax assessment but believes that consideration of the other charges is warranted.  The request must be in writing and must specifically state the reasons a waiver or reduction is justified. The request must be received by ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 3930 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, Oregon 97302-1166 on or before the date the audit becomes final as shown on the Notice of Highway Use Tax Assessment, the International Fuel Tax Agreement Notice of Audit Assessment, or the International Registration Plan Notice of Audit Assessment, whichever applies. Requests may also be faxed to 503-373-1940.

Failure to request for waiver or reduction by the final date of the audit will result in forfeiture of the right to appeal the assessment. When a request for waiver or reduction is filed within the 30-day period, staff will review the request and a written response will be returned to the motor carrier.

Oregon Revised Statute 825.496

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How to Complete Tax Reports

tax report presentation screenshot

The Motor Carrier Transportation Division has created a 7-minute presentation explaining How to Complete a Highway Use Tax Report -- Monthly and Quarterly Mileage. The presentation is an animated slideshow that includes narration describing the reporting process, plus links to forms and additional information. Viewers can pause the slideshow at any time and click on the various links.

The presentation is designed for motor carriers who are not using Oregon Trucking Online to report and pay weight-mile taxes. Trucking Online offers the easiest and most accurate way to complete a tax report because many parts of the report are filled in for the carrier and calculations are automated. In 2009, motor carriers went online to complete 49,205 tax reports.

Not yet signed up for Trucking Online? Request a Personal Identification Number to get started.

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How to Keep Records

recordkeeping video screenshot
 
The Motor Carrier Transportation Division has created a 9-minute presentation that goes into detail about Highway Use Tax Record Keeping Requirements. The presentation is an animated slideshow that includes narration answering the questions:
  • Why keep records?
  • What information must be kept?
  • How do I record all that information?
  • How long do I keep records?
  • Who's going to look at those records?

The presentation includes links to forms and additional information that expands it to 19 minutes if one views everything there. Viewers can pause the slideshow at any time and click on the various links.

The presentation is designed for all motor carriers who operate in Oregon and pay the state's weight-mile tax. But the information is also useful for interstate operators who need to keep most of the same records to meet requirements for the International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement.

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